Unique Career Paths for Aspiring Accountants

For anyone planning to earn an online business degree, a career as an accountant may not sound the most glamorous. While it's true that some certified public accountants (CPAs) go on to become auditors or perform tax preparation services for a large corporation, there are a few surprising career paths that aspiring accountants can take. As with any mainstream accounting position, anyone pursuing these unique jobs will need to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting and then take the CPA exam in the state where they wish to work.

Forensic accountant
If the trial of Bernie Madoff enthralled you, a career as a forensic accountant is for you. As a sort of hybrid accountant-attorney-investigator, you would be charged with the task of uncovering financial crimes and insurance fraud on behalf of companies. The work of a forensic accountant is often used in criminal trials, and they are occasionally called upon to testify. As businesses continue to lose billions of dollars to fraud each year, this is one of the fastest-growing accounting careers.

Environmental accountant
If you're looking to combine your love of mother nature with your accounting degree, the burgeoning field of environmental accounting may be right for you. Environmental accountants are hired by companies to analyze the costs of pollution prevention and help make internal business decisions about the impact of "going green."

International accountant
If the thought of spending upwards of 50 hours a week sitting behind a desk terrifies you, become an international accountant! This exciting career path requires plenty of traveling around the world as you work with people from different countries. In an increasingly globalized world, international accountants are employed by companies to deal with currency exchanges, establish subsidiaries and navigate trade treaties with their knowledge of international financial reporting standards.

If you've been contemplating a career in public service, consider putting your accounting degree to use as a comptroller for your local government. Comptrollers are the chief accountants for businesses, organizations and other entities. They are charged with closely watching all incoming and outgoing finances, and track the money to ensure all is as it should be. It's a job that requires a tremendous amount of responsibility, but someone has to do it!

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online bachelor degree programs in business and online MBA programs. To find out more, please visit our website at www.wgu.edu.

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